396.1 LO/5–550: Telegram

The United States Delegation at the Tripartite Preparatory Meetings to the Secretary of State

Secto 165. From Jessup. At request of French, second tripartite [meeting] colonial questions took place this afternoon.1 Following [Page 954] attended: France—La Tournelle, LeRoy, Monod; UK—Foreign Office, Wright, Parrott, Scrivener; Colonial Office—Cohen, Galsworthy, Wilson, Carter, Mathieson; US—Hare, Tibbetts, Utter.

Prior to meeting French circulated statement their policy on black Africa. La Tournelle summarized views which were practically identical those given by Monod in bilateral meeting May 3 (as reported in Secto 118, May 32). Only new point and one not appearing in text was remark re possibility of Italy and Germany furnishing skilled labor in development Africa. Referring to agreement in tripartite meeting yesterday to examine subsequently UN colonial questions, he stated that France counted on US to counteract propaganda in UN against colonial powers.

Hare observed French statement interesting and reassuring and reiterated US interest in what colonial powers were accomplishing in Africa. As companion piece to French statement of views, he then enumerated tripartite recommendations of D–4.3

Wright expressed appreciation of clear French and US statements and asked Cohen to give UK views. Latter stated that UK was in general agreement with broad outlines of French and US statements and all three governments seemed to be thinking along same lines. While differing in method, British and French have been coming closer together in their colonial policy since war. There is fine cooperation between their respective colonial ministries and administrations, particularly in West Africa. Multipower Technical Committee for Africa4 was important field of collaboration. He emphasized that US was kept informed in order that it might have understanding of British policy. Our support in international bodies was sought, and cooperation in discouraging extremists.

Cohen offered to table short UK statement if desired.

Wright recalled that we had been considering colonies particularly Africa, in especial context of overall picture in trying to build up strength and unity of free world. We had come closer to alignment of thought than ever before, and he stressed that we cannot afford any major disagreements anywhere.

He then proposed that statements made be attached to records of discussion. This was agreed.5 When French suggested that public statement might be prepared for ministers, British observed that this [Page 955] would be difficult in view possible misunderstanding of Belgium and Portugual and existence other British colonies outside Africa.

Hare remarked what we had specifically in mind was to express ideas which we had on Africa and test them against experience of British and French. Having found in doing so that there was wide area of agreement among us, it would accomplish what we had in mind if this fact were passed on to foreign ministers and confirmed by them. We had not been thinking in terms of public declaration. Although prepared to consider, could foresee obvious difficulty in view of fact that our position not similar to that of UK and France and administering powers in Africa. It was decided not to pursue matter in subcommittee but leave it up to consideration three delegations. Discussion ended on note of doubt advisability making such declaration this time.6

Sent Department Secto 165; repeated Paris 765.

  1. This was the second meeting of the tripartite Subcommittee D, The first meeting is reported upon in telegram Secto 130, supra.
  2. Ante, p. 948.
  3. Regarding document FM D D–4 under reference here, see footnote 2, p. 949.
  4. The reference here is presumably to the Commission for Technical Cooperation in Africa South of the Sahara (C.C.T.A.) which was established by the Governments of Belgium, France, Portugal, the Union of South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, and the United Kingdom at a meeting in Paris in January 1950.
  5. The French, U.S., and British statements on Africa under reference here were included as annexes to the Report of Subcommittee D, document MIN/TRI/P/21, May 9, p. 1093.
  6. No public statement of the sort discussed here was issued by the meetings of the Foreign Ministers.